Private Property Rights In Peril In Congress Today (Wednesday)

Action Alert Message from the American Policy Center

From our friend Chuck Cushman at the American Land Rights Association (www.landrights.org)

THE DIE WILL BE CAST THIS REPUBLICAN CONGRESS IS ON THE VERGE OF CREATING A TRUST FUND THAT WILL DESTROY MORE PRIVATE PROPERTY THAN ANY CONGRESS IN HISTORY

ALL PRIVATE PROPERTY ADVOCATES MUST PUT ASIDE OTHER IMPORTANT PRIORITIES TO UNITE IN A LASER SHOT OF PHONE CALLS TODAY

DON’T FAIL TO MAKE YOUR CALLS

YOUR FUTURE DEPENDS ON IT

A backroom deal is likely to take place brokered by Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott (R-MS) and Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Ted Stevens (R-AK). They will attach the Clinton/Gore Lands Legacy 2000 OR CARA (HR-701/S-25), both Billion Dollar Per Year Land Acquisition Trust Funds, to one of several appropriations bills now being considered in Congress. If that happens, no landowner, rancher, farmer, miner, logger, or other property owner will be safe. New Federal reservations such as refuges and parks will be created across the country. A system of greenways, byways, view sheds, sound sheds, and trails will be purchased in a massive WILDLANDS PROJECT that will over time force much of rural America out of their homes, off their farms and into cities. Whether or not eminent domain (Federal condemnation) is part of the initial bill, the green groups have promised to add it later. Tens of thousands of people will be forced to sell.  Hundreds of small communities will lose their tax base. Schools, libraries, and many other important services will be lost. In part this is happening because Clinton and Gore are holding various department appropriations bills hostage to force their land acquisition package on to one of them. Mostly it is happening because Stevens, Lott and other Senators are trying to get pork barrel money for their states. They’re willing to trade you away to do it. Their land acquisition proposal will raise your taxes by up to $2.5 billion. Lands Legacy 2000 and CARA, the Conservation and Reinvestment Act (HR-701/S-25) are the greatest threat to private property since the Endangered Species Act (ESA) 30 years ago.

WHAT YOU MUST DO IMMEDIATELY!!!

1. Call both your Senators to urge them to put a stop to the Trust Fund. They can if they want to bad enough. Ask your Senators to filibuster any land acquisition funding bill that calls for a trust fund or increases land acquisition above the average of the last 10 years. Call your Senators at 202-224-3121.

2. Call Senator Trent Lott (R-MS) at (202) 224-3135 or (202) 224-6253 or send him a fax at (202) 224-4639 or (202) 224-2262. Call Senator Ted Stevens (R-AK) at (202) 224-3471 or (202) 224-3004 or fax to (202) 224-2354. If the lines are tied up, use the Capitol Switchboard to call at (202) 224-3121.

3. Call your Congressman at (202) 225-3121 to ask that he or she make the case to your Senators that passage of a Billion Dollar Trust Fund will threaten support from rural Americans all over the country.

4. Call Senator Mitch McConnell (R-KY) at the National Republican Senatorial Committee. Ask for Executive Director Steven Law. Let him know that if Stevens, Lott and other Republican Senators fail to support private property, they’re likely to be faced with angry property owner voters in 2000. Call (202) 224-2351 or (202) 544-1229. Fax: (202) 675-6058. McConnell’s Senate number is (202) 224-2541. The Fax is (202) 224-2499.

5. Don’t fail to call those above. If possible, keep going and call these numbers too. Senator Don Nickles (R-OK), Senate Majority Whips Office, PH(202) 224-2708 and FAX(202) 224-3913; Senator Slade Gorton (R-WA), Chairman of the Senate Appropriations Interior Subcommittee, PH (202) 224-7233 and FAX(202) 224-9393; Dennis Hastert (R-IL), Speaker of the House, PH (202) 225-2976 and FAX(202) 225-0697 or Speakers Office, PH(202) 225-0600 and FAX(202) 225-7733; Dick Armey (R-TX), House Majority Leader, PH (202) 225-4000 and FAX(202) 226-8100; Tom DeLay (R-TX), Maj. Whips Office, PH (202) 225-0197 and FAX(202) 225-5117; C.W. Bill Young (R-FL) Chair of the House Appropriations Comm., PH (202) 225-2771 and FAX (202) 225-9764; and Ralph Regula (R-OH), Chairman of the House Appropriations Interior Subcomm., PH(202)225-3081 and FAX (202) 225-3059.

Do you think the Republican Congress has been standing up for you? Is this the property rights Congress? Many of our members and allies are wondering if the Republicans are running for minority status. People are losing faith. The risk is many will stay home in 2000 in disgust instead of going to the polls. It is hard to imagine a Republican Congress so completely ignoring Republican principals and private property.

DON’T ASSUME SOMEONE ELSE IS GOING TO CALL.

EVERYONE MUST DO THEIR PART. BELOW IS A SAMPLE OF WHAT TO WRITE: (PUT IT IN YOUR OWN WORDS)

Dear Congressman/Senator:

Please fight against ALL land grab trust funds!!! Lands Legacy 2000, proposed by the Clinton/Gore Administration, and HR-701/S-25, the Conservation and Reinvestment Act (CARA), is the biggest land grab in history.  This legislation will increase the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) to nearly one billion dollars per year. It will mean that between 20 and 30 million acres of private land will be converted into Federal ownership over the next 20 years.  The LWCF will be able to buy as much land in the next six years as it did in the last 30 years. This will be a disaster for property owners, especially those in small communities. As more and more private land is purchased, the federal government cuts into the quick of rural economic ecosystems.  The result is cultural genocide. There should not be an off-budget trust fund. All land acquisition funding should go through the appropriations process so Congress can set budget priorities. That is the only way citizens can effect the process.  Condemnation of land will also vastly increase, since there is no prohibition on states using the Federal money for eminent domain. Insist that Congress do its work the light of day, not in secret backroom deals that avoid going through the normal congressional process. Especially something is important as this one. Please stop the land grab!

Sincerely,

YOU the taxpayer and citizen!

Tom DeWeese
[email protected]

Tom DeWeese is one of the nation’s leading advocates of individual liberty, free enterprise, private property rights, personal privacy, back-to-basics education and American sovereignty and independence.